Glasgow & West Scotland

Transport police body camera clips to be used in court

British Transport Police
Image caption BTP officers use the body-mounted cameras

Video footage from digital cameras worn by British Transport Police (BTP) is to be used as court evidence for the first time in Scotland.

Clips will be handed to prosecutors in the case of a man who was arrested on the Carlisle to Edinburgh train on 1 August.

It is alleged he was involved in disorderly behaviour.

BTP agreed to submit clips from its officers' body-worn cameras following a pilot on Glasgow's Subway system.

The lightweight cameras will be used by officers as they monitor large-scale events including football matches.

The device is connected to recording equipment strapped to their uniforms, leaving their hands free to record any incidents. The footage can then be downloaded to a computer or onto a DVD.

After a successful trial of the equipment by officers on Glasgow's Subway system, it has been agreed that the audio and video clips can be used in court proceedings.

Sup Jim McKelvie, BTP's head of operations for Scotland, said: "We are keen to utilise technology that assists our officers and helps ensure the safety of rail passengers and staff, and this system is an effective way of reducing crime.

"Similar equipment is already used extensively by our officers south of the border and is proving invaluable in helping reassure staff and passengers.

"The equipment can also be used to build up intelligence."

In the first case of its kind, clips will be used in evidence against a 38-year-old man from Edinburgh.

He is accused of disorderly behaviour on board the 1705 BST Carlisle to Edinburgh train on 1 August while returning from a football game.

Christine Hamilton, principal procurator fiscal depute for Glasgow Central and West, said the video footage would be a useful addition to court evidence.

She said: "Body-worn cameras are an important step forward in tackling crimes committed on public transport in Scotland.

"The audio and video footage captured on these cameras by British Transport Police will be used as evidence in court - prosecutors will be able to show this footage to a judge or jury to allow them to see and hear the full impact of what took place during an incident."

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